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Lake Forest Pastry shop in Clayton Missouri

I was wondering if anyone out there could help me. I know that the Lake Forest pastry shop is closed and has been for some time. What I would like to know is if anyone know how to get in touch with the original owners or how I could get the recipe for the caramel crunch rings they made.

Thanks for any and all help.


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  1. Craig,
    The caramel crunch ring was our favorite bring-to-the-office cake!
    Perhaps the food editor at the Post-Dispatch could be of some help in your quest? While you are at it, the Gooey Butter Cake and the Paradise Cake recipes would be great to have.

    1 Reply
    1. re: p.j.

      Actually, luck must have been on my side...I found out while surfing the web later after that post that one of the bakers from Lake Forest opened up his own bakery. It is called Clayton's Bakery and Deli. Website by same name. Has a phone number which I called and found out they make many of the original Lake Forest goodies....I see a trip to St Louis in my future!!! Thanks for your suggestion though.

    2. Clayton Bakery & Deli
      11744 Manchester Rd, Saint Louis, MO 63131

      (314) 821-2509

      Thanks, tycointl! Unfortunately (or fortunately) for me, this is in way west county, far from my usual travels.
      Have any other St. Louis Hounds tried this bakery?

      2 Replies
      1. re: p.j.

        Hey everyone, my dad is out there now and will be returning with a couple of coffecakes from Clayton's Bakery and Deli to let me taste them and see if they are like the old original ones. For about a year after ownership changed hands at Lake Forest, things tasted the same, then they changed I am guessing the caramel icing so that it tasted slightly burned all the time. I don't know if it was due to the help/labor or if the new owners switched to a cheaper cost/quality caramel icing on the rings...or, maybe I just grew older and the ole taste buds just aren't what they used to be.

        Thanks all for the replies! I'll let you know what I taste!

        1. re: tycointl

          You're not the only one. My family had a long standing tradition of their chocolate cakes with the chocolate shavings. At first after the buy out, they were the same, but a year or so later, they started to get a grainy texture, like the sugar hadn't been mixed in well.

        1. I grew up on Lake Forest, the owner from the 50s to the 70s invented many of the stollens, cakes and cookies. Unfortunately, he passed away in late '73 and his widow just passed away about two years ago. The bakery used the same recipes until the last owner decided he knew better than both the bakers from years past and the customers and decided to change the recipes..such as the caramel crunch ring, paradise pan coffee cake, the apricot rings, the raisin bread and even the hot cross buns...what sacrilege. Needless to say, about a year or so after he took over, the bakery closed for good. As far as I know the recipes are still with the family as well as the bakers that worked there through the years...but there would be conversions to be done, as everything was in pounds, etc., not cups and teaspoons or tablespoons...

          1 Reply
          1. re: lakeforestlover

            Actually, they were tossed in the dumpster after they closed. Luckily someone fished them out, and they're currently with Chris Leuther, owner of Party Pastry in Ballwin.

          2. Ok, it's been about 1 year since i've been on here...my dad brought back a couple of the caramel crunch rings (with the almond paste in it, not the regular way they make it now) and I was in heaven. He is heading out there again this week. But, today, when I tried to pull up the website, it said it was down...I'm getting a bad feeling about this. Can anyone tell me if they are still in business?



            1. Hi tycointl, I'm native to STL but live in Western NC and was devastated when on a visit I found that the ONLY bakery I bothered to visit was gone. Last Christmas I went to Lake Forest Confections and paid three times the price for poor imitations of the caramel ring and gooey butter cake. Didn't like the candy either. Mrs. Sees is far better. I notice you've found information on a spinoff (Clayton Bakery?) and I'll write my daughters and ask them to check it out. Meanwhile I search for recipes that might come close to Lake Forest pastries. These were the kind of pastries I was raised on in North St. Louis and South St. Louis. Scrubby Dutch descendants doing what they do best. Speaking of "best" that's the difference. You can never substitute ingredients of lesser quality for the original and get the same reward. Thanks for your input. I appreciate you.

              8 Replies
              1. re: Jean B.

                I'm wondering if there is any news about Lake Forest Pastry Shop recipes, especially if anyone has ever located their buttercake recipe. I looked at the web site of Clayton Bakery and Deli in Des Peres, MO referred to above, and it doesn't seem to have anything like the Lake Forest buttercake listed. Has anyone tried it?
                I remember the Lake Forest buttercakes from childhood, since my grandparents lived in St. Louis. One was plain, another was blueberry. Many in my family also loved their Paradise cake. A sad loss; I hope the recipes are archived, somewhere.

                1. re: basic_kim

                  Lake Forest replacement is in business just west of its old location. They still have gooey butter coffee cake. Not sure about the rest.

                  Lake Forest Confections - Hand Dipped Chocolates, Truffles & Candies
                  7801 Clayton Road
                  St. Louis, MO 63117
                  (314) 721-9997

                  1. re: basic_kim

                    um, if you are talking about gooey butter cake clayton's bakery has it.
                    i am not sure if they make blueberry but i know they make regular and almond.
                    Clayton's also has paradise cake that tastes just like lake forests.
                    its wonderful and amazingly good.
                    hope i helped some.

                    1. re: basic_kim

                      This was called the Deep Butter cake, and yes, there was a plain and a blueberry and those were the only two versions they made. I worked there for about 10 years from 1989 to 1999.

                      1. re: boberfamily

                        I'm getting fat just reading these posts.....yum!

                        1. re: boberfamily

                          would you know how i might be able to get a recipe for the carmel crunch rings that had the almond paste filling in the middle of it? i live on the east coast and haven't made it back to St Louis for about 12 years now and I miss that, Farrattos Pizza in Webster Groves area and Steak n Shakes (which are creeping eastward thankfully!)

                          1. re: boberfamily

                            I know our office really misses Lake Forest Bakery. I would love to know how they did the topping on the German Gooey Butter Cake. Every recipe I have searched thinks I am wanting German Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake. Any help?

                            1. re: vallelaker

                              You might do better to start a new thread if you're looking for a specific item, particularly since this thread is four years old.

                      2. Just by way of an update to the loss of Lake Forest: the quirky yellow brick building was torn down last week. So sad. I loved the curved walls: reminded me of the late Coral Courts Motel. I was hoping someone would rehab it for another use. Several of the storefronts on the block are empty.
                        Has anyone found a recipe for the caramel crunch ring with almond paste? Please share!
                        Take care, p.j.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: p.j.

                          The gooey butter cake that I remember from the 60's and 70's was called the Ladue Special. I wish I could find the recipe for that! If anyone has it I would be forever grateful.

                          1. re: Cliffstookey

                            Here is a recipe that was published in the New York Times, Nov. 4 2009. It's not exactly the Lake Forest Pastry Shop version, but reminiscent in a nice way...


                            November 4, 2009
                            St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

                            FOR THE CAKE:

                            3 tablespoons milk at room temperature

                            1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

                            6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

                            3 tablespoons sugar

                            1 teaspoon kosher salt

                            1 large egg

                            1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

                            For the topping:

                            3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon light corn syrup

                            2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

                            12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

                            1 1/2 cups sugar

                            1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

                            1 large egg

                            1 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

                            Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling.

                            1. In a small bowl, mix milk with 2 tablespoons warm water. Add yeast and whisk gently until it dissolves. Mixture should foam slightly.

                            2. Using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and salt. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat in the egg. Alternately add flour and the milk mixture, scraping down sides of bowl between each addition. Beat dough on medium speed until it forms a smooth mass and pulls away from sides of bowl, 7 to 10 minutes.

                            3. Press dough into an ungreased 9-by 13-inch baking dish at least 2 inches deep. Cover dish with plastic wrap or clean tea towel, put in a warm place, and allow to rise until doubled, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

                            4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. To prepare topping, in a small bowl, mix corn syrup with 2 tablespoons water and the vanilla. Using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat in the egg. Alternately add flour and corn syrup mixture, scraping down sides of bowl between each addition.

                            5. Spoon topping in large dollops over risen cake and use a spatula to gently spread it in an even layer. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes; cake will rise and fall in waves and have a golden brown top, but will still be liquid in center when done. Allow to cool in pan before sprinkling with confectioners’ sugar for serving.

                            Yield: 16 to 20 servings.

                            1. re: basic_kim

                              Thank you basic_kim I am forever grateful. If you live in St. Louis stop by Sqwires restaurant my cousin owns it.

                              1. re: Cliffstookey

                                Thanks! I don't live in St. Louis, but I do hope you enjoy the recipe. Please update the rest of us if you ever come by a closer version, etc.

                              2. re: basic_kim

                                I made this at Christmas after trying tons of different gooey butter cake recipes-- this one's a winner, and so close to my childhood memories! Highly recommend trying it... My guests were swooning.

                          2. It’s been a long time sine the initial question was asked, but I’ve been researching the gooey butter cake and came across this article:

                            The recipes from Lake Forest were rescued!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Maedl

                              Not to put a damper on your research because I did find the article interesting but Party Pastry has gone down hill a bit since the Schmidt's sold it.
                              Our family were regulars of Party Pastry going back to their original location in the city. I have not seen the caramel crunch ring mentioned in the original post but their rum rolls, gooey butter cake and paradise cake are not what they used to be. I try to get to Missouri Baking on the hill for gooey butter cake or closer to home Claytons on Manchester. I've not found anyone else that does the Party Pastry rum rolls so we make do when the urge hits.
                              I will make an inquiry about the caramel crunch ring next time I'm in.

                            2. When in STL, be sure to try Russell's Bakery in Fenton. They have Gooey Butter items that are TO DIE FOR. Esp. the chocolate gooey butter dessert. Really. Trust me.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: spoonball

                                Got to say I agree with you. And Russell's has another location in South City as well. Their gooey butter cake is neck-in-neck with the chewy butter version by Companion Bakehouse...different renditions, both fantastic.